More than a century old, Houston-based firm Andrews Kurth has
grown from a local powerhouse representative for the railroad
industry to an international firm with branches in Washington, DC,
New York, Dubai, London, and Beijing, making a name for itself
along the way with its energy and bankruptcy practices. With a
mantra of "straight talk," Andrews Kurth has national tier one
practices in energy, trusts & estates, oil & gas law,
project finance, and many other areas of law according
to U.S. News.
Texas Railroading and the Aviator
In 1902, Frank Andrews-a former assistant attorney general for
Texas-and Thomas Ball-a former U.S. representative from
Texas-founded a firm in Houston. From its early years, the firm was
heavily involved in Houston's development, helping secure funding
to build the Port of Houston and representing railroad bigwigs like
Houston Belt, Terminal Railroad and the Gulf Coast Lines. The firm
did so much work for the railroad industry, in fact, that
railroaders expressed their gratitude by naming a freight station
north of Houston after Tom Ball. In the early 1900s, the Texan firm
also worked with Standard Oil and the Houston Land Corporation.
Several years later, Melvin Kurth hopped aboard and headed the
firm from 1936 for the next three decades. A portion of Andrews
Kurth's mid-twentieth century work revolved around eccentric
aviator and business tycoon Howard Hughes and his Hughes Tool
Company. Around that time Andrews Kurth also ratcheted up its
business in the energy field, counseling firms involved in natural
gas pipeline construction and other energy initiatives and helping
them negotiate the relatively new regulatory network coming out of
In 1977, Andrews Kurth expanded beyond the Lone Star state when
it opened an office in DC to help handle its growing energy
regulatory practice. Following were office inaugurations in Los
Angeles, New York, the Woodlands, across the pond in London, in the
Middle East in Dubai, and in Asia in Beijing.
In 2016 Andrews Kurth brought on all 55 attorneys from IP
powerhouse Kenyon & Kenyon, adding one of the Kenyons to the
masthead, an office in Silicon Valley, and a Colbert. Late
Night host Stephen Colbert's brother Edward Colbert was the
managing partner of Kenyon & Kenyon and twice appeared on his
brother's previous show, The Colbert Report, to discuss IP
issues-to discuss the Shepard Fairey "Obama Hope" copyright case
and, memorably, to advise Colbert on what he could say during his
coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics without getting sued by
No Energy Shortages Here
A significant number of lawyers on board work in energy
law-advising in regulatory work, project financing as well as
counseling on construction contracts and litigation for energy
companies. Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister, who
leads the firm's appellate division, headed BP's defense in state
litigation following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The firm also dabbles in renewable energy sources. A strong wind
power team, for example, advises companies on the ins and outs of
financing and developing wind power and alternative energy
Managing Your Money
Although the firm boasts top energy and regulatory practices, it
also touts a high-profile bankruptcy group. The firm pioneered its
bankruptcy practice in the 1960s and later benefited from former
partner and Bush family friend Edith Jones' bankruptcy expertise
before her appointment as chief judge for the Fifth Circuit U.S.
Court of Appeals.
Andrews Kurth also represents Fortune 500 companies through its
corporate securities practice. Also ranked by U.S.
News as tier one is the firm's trusts and estates
department, which had plenty of practice in its handling of the 17
year-long battle over Hughes' estate in the 1980s.